Trucking group sues Oregon over 450% DMV fee increase

The Oregon Trucking Assn. is leading a lawsuit against the Oregon departments of transportation and administrative services over a proposed 450% increase in the fee for getting a DMV driving record. Trucking companies are required to purchase records on their drivers before hiring them.

The state proposes to raise the price of purchasing a DMV driving record from $2 to $9.68. The records are used by insurance companies to determine insurance rates and trucking companies to verify the records of prospective drivers.

The trucking group is joined in the suit by AAA Oregon/Idaho, Oregon Columbia Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, Property Casualty Insurers Assn. of America, Redmond Heavy Hauling, Inc., Gordon Wood Insurance & Financial Services, Inc., Property Casualty Insurers Assn. of America, and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC).

“Oregon's trucking industry is dedicated to a high level of safety and to keeping skilled drivers on the road,” said OTA President Debra Dunn in a statement. “Beyond the substantial cost increase to access DMV records, the impact from this move will be far reaching and will affect all motorists on Oregon roads.”

“NAMIC has joined the broad-based coalition that is legally challenging the recent MVR fee increase, because this 450% increase in the cost of procuring motor vehicle records necessary for insurers to provide auto insurance consumers with rates that fairly and accurately reflect the consumer’s personal risk of loss exposure is an unnecessary and unreasonable insurance rate cost driver,” said Christian Rataj, NAMIC’s western state affairs manager in a statement.

The plaintiffs have filed an initial petition as a complaint for declaratory judgment in the Marion County Circuit Court.  The complaint argues three issues: The Oregon Dept. of Transportation lacks the authority to grant the Exclusive License to the Dept. of Administrative Services to provide internet services through a private vendor; the sum that ODOT receives for a driving record under the Exclusive License violates the trust obligations owed to the fund; ODOT and DAS’s use of driving records fees for purposes other than what was intended violates the trust’s obligations owed to the fund, according to an Insurance Journal report.

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